The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has launched the first ever Women in Manufacturing Report in Kenya.

The outcomes of the research will guide KAM’s advocacy drive of the Women in Manufacturing Program in Kenya, by providing concrete data on the necessary areas to improve. It will also inform stakeholders in mainstreaming gender equality and inclusion in the manufacturing sector.

Speaking during the report launch, Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary, Dr Francis Owino lauded KAM’s efforts towards promoting women’s participation in the local manufacturing sector.

“The Women in Manufacturing Study is a great milestone for local industry. As government, we are keen to see women take up opportunities in manufacturing. We envisage the integration of gender issues into the development process across all sectors, including industry. We shall continue to work with private sector to eliminate discrimination in venturing into the sector, as well as do away with challenges that hinder women from soaring in the production of goods and services. The Government of Kenya has ratified regional and global policy and legal frameworks that target the promotion of gender equality and diversity in the workforce. We have also institutionalized affirmative action funds such as Women Enterprise Fund, Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), Uwezo Fund, all aimed at creating a level playing field for women in the sector.”

KAM Chair, Mr Mucai Kunyiha noted that KAM continues to advocate for an inclusive manufacturing sector, through the establishment of policies and incentives that encourage women to be key players in value and supply chains.

“Women are making strides in steering the growth of the global manufacturing sector and demonstrating that manufacturing is a fulfilling career with limitless opportunities. We need to equip, mentor, and build women who will start businesses in the sector as well as take up decision- making positions. We need to equip, mentor, and build women who will start businesses in the sector as well as take up decision- making positions. Our aspiration as an Association is to see more women participate in the sector in senior leadership roles, as owners and founders, and for young girls to see themselves as future industrialists. We need to be deliberate to include more women-owned enterprises into the manufacturing value chain and assist them in building their capacities to take up new roles in emerging opportunities, such as Industry 4.0.”

The Women in Manufacturing (WIM) programme, Chair, Ms Flora Mutahi, explained that the report is a major step towards achieving WIM’s vision for equality, inclusivity and diversity in the sector.

“From the survey, companies in the manufacturing sector are predominantly male-owned and staffed across all its fourteen manufacturing subsectors, except for the chemical and allied subsector, that accounts for 50% female. Three out of the 14 sectors have a female workforce of 40%; these are agriculture and fresh produce, paper and board, and services and consultancy. In terms of leadership, female-led Multinational Corporations (MNCs) had 85% of women in senior management slightly higher than male-led MNCs, which stood at 83%,” remarked Ms Mutahi.

You can find the Women in Manufacturing Report HERE.